Worth

When I first started setting up my daughters room I purchased two prints to hang above her bed. One says ‘You are loved with an everlasting love’ (The Grace Place) and the other ‘you are beautiful, unique, chosen, loved, set apart, accepted’ (Susanna April) because that is what I want to speak over and into her – even when my actions are not quite so loving.

…My worth is nothing more than a history of worthlessness

That is what I want to speak over her, because me – who am I to be beautiful, unique, chosen, loved, set apart, accepted? Now that I am a single parent does my value rest upon the way I have been treated- does the fact that I have an ex-partner define my worth? The fact that having birthed two children means I have stretch marks and scars, both physical and emotional, that want to tell me my worth is nothing more than a history of worthlessness.

In ‘The Whole-Brain Child‘ Dan Siegel writes:

‘As children develop, their brains “mirror” their parent’s brain. In other words, the parent’s own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child’s brain… That means that integrating and cultivating your own brain is one of the most loving and generous gifts you can give your children.’

So really I can speak these words over my child but I also have to believe them about myself too if I want them to have power. If I see myself as worthless how likely is it that my children’s brains will mirror that pattern of thinking.

…My primary identity as a Child of God

As I was talking to a friend about identity I was reminded that while a significant part of my identity currently is being a parent, even greater is my primary identity as a Child of God. That is the only fixed identity I have. All the others are secondary and changeable. Within parenting I can be a young parent, partnered, single parent, ex-partner, working mother, stay at home mother – all of these carry different values to different people and some days I will be one and not another.

Can we see our worth as coming from our commanding officer rather than all the people around us?

In 2 Timothy 2:4 it says ‘No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.’ – can we see our worth as coming from our commanding officer rather than all the people around us? Because then we get to look at Hebrews 2:11  ‘Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus isn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.’ – our commanding officer says He is not ashamed of us. If we go out and get entangled in civilian affairs we are quickly going to get lost in all our secondary identities and all the people that don’t love us, mistreat us or hurt us. In a sea of worthlessness, shame and guilt.

We can believe the plan is much bigger, our value is much more and that where we are is just a step towards something greater

We don’t have to give power to secondary identities that want to take away our value. We don’t have to believe that they are the definition of who we are. We can believe the plan is much bigger, our value is much more and that where we are is just a step towards something greater. The single most powerful thing I have read this week was Genesis 50:20 ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.’ That is what Joseph says to his brothers- the ones that threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery, where he ended up in prison for years. His brothers did not see value in him. Instead of focusing on his Brothers value of him and living in a place of worthlessness, he was able to see a much larger plan with a God that preempted their actions and used it to save lives.

You are loved with an everlasting love, beautiful, unique, chosen, loved, set apart, and accepted.

I am loved with an everlasting love, beautiful, unique, chosen, loved, set apart, and accepted.

 

New Keys, New Start, Broken Heart

And so starting a blog is easy, you get an idea and a plan then you slowly work towards making it happen. It is easy to create a long term vision. Then along comes a big wave and you get thrown over and spun 180 degrees the other way and wash up on the beach not really sure how you got there. You can’t really go back into the wave, the only real way is forward. It’s like the Bear Hunt story – you can’t go over it, you can’t go around it, you have to go through it.

It’s like the Bear Hunt story – you can’t go over it, you can’t go around it, you have to go through it.

When I decided to create a blog about intentionally building a home, I had this idea of what a home looked like. Then in a matter of months I became a single parent of two children, living in a two bedroom apartment. An apartment that can only really be called a blessing as it came at just the right time, in just the right place. Was it even possible to write a blog about home building when my home fell?

And so broken imperfect messy families are where Grace can shine through if we let it. They are still families and we can still parent with intention.

I was taken back to something I wrote a few months ago. What our children don’t need is to see our perfection that leaves them floundering in their own imperfection. They need to see authenticity and the consequences of decisions. If they see our false perfection how much more likely are they to live out our failure? And so broken imperfect messy families are where Grace can shine through if we let it. They are still families and we can still parent with intention. We can still see that if this is not the end, then surely, maybe, it is a middle or beginning? It is just a different plan to the one we had. Its a quite voice of Hope. It doesn’t negate the pain – but as I read ‘ Girl meets Change’ by Kristen Strong I am reminded that change is part of growth and ‘Time doesn’t heal all wounds – time with the Healer does’.

That maybe right now, this is the season we need, even if we don’t know why.

Healing happens as we let go of our paper thin dreams, desires and wants. We just have to jump and let go of control and trust, for me, a God that is higher and greater. That maybe right now, this is the season we need, even if we don’t know why. Even if it hurts, and feels like such a complicated mess that we cannot seem to fathom how to unravel any of it.

So the words of Isaiah 61.3 ring true ‘To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.’ and Isaiah 43.19 ‘Behold, I am doing a new thing’ now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’

We still have purpose, our family still has a purpose – its only the end if we let it be. So we begin to rebuild the walls

And so I am learning to let go, lean in, breathe and trust. When I was handed new keys, I was also handed a new start. A new home that needs building, the start of another sanctuary, refuge and shelter. We still have purpose, our family still has a purpose – its only the end if we let it be. So we begin to rebuild the walls.

Beauty from Ashes

Children Car Girl Meets Change

Desk